Hand holding a tiny ball of light on a keyboard and showing the word attack.

Anyone who works on computers and connects to the internet knows cyber attacks are prevalent across the world. Recent statistics show cybercrime up 600% in the last year since the COVID pandemic started. And there aren’t any signs of it slowing down.

This might sound disconcerting, and it’s more chilling when realizing how many types of cyber attacks there are. Some good examples include:

  • Phishing attacks are usually caused by employees opening questionable emails.
  • Malware spreads through networks after visiting unprotected websites.
  • Denial of Service attacks and Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DOS/DDOS). These can shut down networks for days.
  • Password theft. This happens when hackers infiltrate passwords online or thieves in local workplaces steal them.
  • Malicious SQL code usually gets injected into websites without security protection.
  • Zero-day exploits bring down networks that don’t yet have security patches.

This list contains the most common cyber attacks, but it certainly is not the most comprehensive. The good news: all of them do have prevention methods available.

Something as simple as using antivirus software on all your work or home computers can block most of these threats. Firewalls are also used, including 24/7 monitoring from network management teams.

It often pays to outsource IT network management to keep on top of network traffic when depending on the network to stay up at all times without disruptions.

Cybercrime Statistics: Spending, Costs, and Causes

Further cybercrime statistics show them happening every 11 seconds across the globe and costing the economy $6.1 billion. Yet, the statistics show companies trying to invest as much money as possible to stop them from happening.

Some interesting facts about spending, costs, and causes of cyber attacks:

Spending

According to statistics from recent years, spending to curb cybercrime is topping $1 trillion through 2021. This went up exponentially from spending billions in prior years.

How far will that spending go into coming years? Projections are, cybercrime is going to cost the world $10.5 trillion through 2025.

Figures like this are jaw-dropping, if understandable considering the complexity of relying on digital devices for everything.

Costs

As you can see, the future cost of cybercrime prevention is going to become enormous. On an annual basis, most average businesses lose around $4,478 with each attack.

On any given day, 1% of the world population experience some kind of cyber attack.

Causes

Most of the time, cyber attacks happen due to a lack of security preparation. It’s easy to become complacent if nothing has ever happened before.

Unfortunately, too many companies cut cybersecurity out of their spending budgets until disaster strikes.

Cybercrime Tactics

More efficient tools are now available to fight against cybercrime. While antivirus software and firewalls are becoming more sophisticated and available, there are simple yet very effective techniques that we must not forget to practice.

The simplest of all is creating strong passwords. You can easily acquire password management tools online to help you create strong passwords. These passwords are stored in software and automatically pasted with encryption when signing in.

Two-factor and multi-factor authentication is now the norm in protecting valuable data. You can incorporate these techniques into a cybersecurity program in your company.

Education about phishing attacks is also vital. Understanding how cybercrime harms, deceives, and destructs is essential to building an informed team that is vigilant to those red flags early on.

Tips for Preventing a Cyber Breach

What other tips can you use to prevent a cyber breach? How do these apply to individuals and organizations?

CyberSecurity Tips for Individuals

Those who need to keep their computer and data safe at home can use many of the same techniques listed above. However, you’ll also want to look into online software like VPNs (Virtual Private Network) to create a secure network. These alone prevent online thieves since it gives the illusion your IP address is in another location.

Also, don’t forget to download all the updates to your operating system or software. All major companies like Apple and Microsoft have the option of doing automatic updates on your desktop or mobile devices to help protect against vulnerabilities.

It’s a given to avoid public Wi-Fi where you’re more open to hackers. A VPN blocks anyone from accessing your data in those situations.

Above all, avoid posting any private information online that could enable someone to infiltrate your network or steal your identity.

CyberSecurity Tips for Organizations

Small businesses, companies, and organizations need to put in the largest possible effort to protect their networks. In scenarios where your organization has multiple locations, cybersecurity becomes a more challenging endeavor to take on.

Still, a good way to start is to do a security risk assessment to see what your most glaring cyber vulnerabilities are. Knowing this gives you a chance to know exactly what security tools you need rather than invest in things you don’t .

Education of employees on cybersecurity policies keeps up with your risks and finds pathways to prevent disasters.

Backing up data is also crucial, something both individuals and organizations should do. The cloud is a reliable resource to store vast amounts of data, letting you access it on any device if your network suddenly goes down during a DDOS attack.

The Importance of Staying Secure

Now you see the consequences of not keeping up with cybersecurity to avoid a major data breach. One thing to learn is it doesn’t always take mass investments in technology to prevent some of the worst cybercrime scenarios.

Nevertheless, you’ll want to look into educating yourself as much as possible about the latest threats and the evolving role of technology to protect us all.

At Divergence Academy, we help provide training and certifications for those who want to take on the challenging role of cybersecurity on a larger scale.

Contact us to learn more about our educational programs and how we can help you find a job in cybersecurity after your training is done.

Image Source: Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock